1. Your kid has been Disneyland at least three times this year.
What is a once-in-a-lifetime trip for other families is a standard Saturday for your family. Given that season pass tickets for local residents aren’t that much more than a one-day pass, you find yourself spending more time around Mickey and Minnie than you ever thought possible before you had kids here.
2. And they’ve spent more time at breweries than Chuck E. Cheese.
Hey, it’s not your fault they make beer gardens so entertaining for children. You know exactly what breweries have child-friendly koi ponds and grassy areas, and you have no problem letting the kids entertain themselves within spitting distance of brewing tanks if it means you can enjoy a pint of your favorite microbrew in the sun. Plus, your kids are avoiding the germ mecca of the ball pool while you enjoy that beer — double bonus.
3. You drive three hours just so your child can play in falling snow.
You kid is ten and still hasn’t ever seen actual snow falling from the sky. So when you hear it’s supposed to snow a lot in Big Bear or Julian, you quickly pack the family into the car and go on a mission to find the white stuff. Unfortunately, you hit traffic about halfway to your destination as everyone else has had this same idea. Being the stalwart that you are, you nevertheless persevere and your kids do eventually experience fresh snow…by sledding down a five-foot slope on the side of the road.
4. Your kid skateboards and surfs.
It’s practically guaranteed that your kid’s going to be joining the other neighborhood kids skateboarding the streets…or begging the older ones for surfing lessons from the moment they can say ‘gnarly’. And if you grew up here, you’ll definitely be passing on the wonders of riding the waves to the kids as soon as possible.
5. You actually consider eating your placenta.
You’ve definitely met someone who’s ingested it, and your doula or childbirth instructor likely encapsulates it. Before you know it, you’re googling “eating your placenta” during your pregnancy and actually begin to consider paying the few hundred bucks to have your placenta turned into tiny little happy pills. Your husband even supports it (anything to avoid raging hormones). In the end, you’ll either decide you literally can’t stomach it, or you’ll truly embrace California parenthood and pop those placenta pills with abandon. Enjoy.
5. You wear your baby.
You forego strollers and instead wear your baby whenever you can. California is overcrowded — who wants to navigate their child around all those people in a big contraption? You know all the different ways to wear your baby…even if it did take several hours of YouTube watching to figure out how to wrap that 7-foot long piece of fabric around your bod or get that sling positioned just right. When you can’t be bothered to mess with tucks and folds and rings, you grab your ever-present-in-California Ergobaby carrier.
6. And you’re in a gang. A stroller gang.
You may like to wear your baby, but you still need a stroller sometimes. Probably it’s a BOB which you were sold on because it can be pushed on sand (hello beach). Or you got it because you often see a pack of 30 BOBS being pushed up a hill during a morning stroller workout session, and you decided you had to have one too. Eventually, you’ll join one of those early morning stroller gangs in an attempt to get in shape. You live in California…swimsuit season is always right around the corner.
7. You count down the days until your kid can keep flip flops on his or her feet.
You haven’t worn actual shoes in five years — why should your child?
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